On Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 , WECREATE | CAMBODIA celebrated the signing of an MOU with Paz y Desarrollo (PYD), which translates to “Peace and Development”, an organisation which has helped manage development initiatives in more than a dozen nations worldwide. GriffinWorx, which founded the Center in 2015, has licensed WECREATE and its portfolio to PYD. The handover represents WECREATE | CAMBODIA’s first step towards self-sufficiency.
At Wednesday’s celebration, U.S. Ambassador William A. Heidt delivered remarks thanking Minister Ing Kantha Phavi, Cambodia’s Minister of Women’s Affairs, who has been a role model and inspiration for young Cambodian women by “creating economic opportunities for women is opening doors for women across the country.”
“Cambodia’s economy has developed rapidly over the past 15 years. Poverty has declined, social and health indicators have improved, and the standard of living of the Cambodian people have risen. But this economic success has brought a new set of challenges,” said Ambassador Heidt, “In order to continue growing, Cambodia will need more entrepreneurs willing to diversify, move to higher value-added industries, and build the small and medium enterprises that can help drive the economy. ”
Women are integral to that rise. Since WECREATE opened in June 2015, over 1,000 women have benefited from the centre’s hyper-localized training, mentoring, networking, and workshops.
Ly Sophia, a WECREATE alumnus who established her business in 2006 in Phnom Penh with just a few employees and limited funds, is one of those women. Today, KC Solar Co. Ltd. has since gone on to employ 25 people, 40 percent of whom are women. Her revenue has increased substantially, and Sopha has recently made the strategic decision to expand her office locations in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Kampong Cham and Siem Reap, thanks in part to her education and support from WECREATE.
“Programs like WECREATE are designed to help Cambodia’s women seize these opportunities and contribute to Cambodia’s future growth,” said Ambassador Heidt, “They empower women and give them a space to grow and develop. They support the entry of talented and creative women into the workforce and then support them with training and mentoring.”
Sean Griffin, founder and CEO of GriffinWorx, congratulated Paz y Desarrollo, with high hopes for the future of the Center. “We look forward to continuing our partnership working with PYD to grow women entrepreneurs in Cambodia and increase the size of our dent in Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he said.